Cyclone Hockey will have its first game of the season 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena for the team’s home opener against Waldorf University. On Saturday, the Cyclones will travel to Albert Lea to face Waldorf at its home rink.
Jason Fairman, head coach of the Iowa State hockey team, is returning for his sixth season and what will be his fourth full season as head coach.
During the 2016-2017 season, the Cyclones had the number one spot in the ACHA Men’s rankings since 1999.
Fairman said he is looking forward to the process of improving throughout the season.
“I think it’s what all coaches enjoy [...] the process, taking raw talent, helping to form it — it is part of what motivates me,” Fairman said. "[It's] the athletes themselves that steer the ship towards the same goal.”
The team has a large amount of new faces, including seven freshmen. Fairman and his team had to recruit and replace regular contributors for the members who have graduated.
“Replacing classes is always challenging, but the challenge is what keeps it interesting,” Fairman said.
Fairman used the analogy of baseball spring training with the team working on foot movements and other important hockey techniques. Early on, the team is going back to the basics for this week; Fairman said the squad is prepared to go against Waldorf.
Beyond this weekend, the goal for Fairman as a coach and the team as a whole is to bring a national championship to Iowa State.
“We have a formula that has been successful, and we are on the right track to be [in] a mix of teams to compete for a championship,” Fairman said.
Captains Max Olson and Dylan Goggin are looking forward to starting the season with their home opener.
Olsen, a key defender for the team last season, is looking to hit a stride with the team early in multiple areas — such as in the classroom — as well as on the ice.
“Every position is up for grabs right now,” Olsen said. "At this point, we all have to deal with the possibility of changing positions. I just want what is best for the team.”
Goggin, who plays center for the Cyclones, is putting it on himself to place goals for the upcoming season. One of those goals is to win a national championship, and he goes by the slogan ‘never enough,’ which has been heavily advertised for the team this year.
“I am very excited to see where we can go and what this team can do,” Goggin said. "This is one of the fastest teams I have ever been on; I am looking forward to getting onto the ice.”
All results of the Iowa State hockey game will be posted on the Iowa State Twitter, @CycloneHockey, and on the Iowa State Recreation Services website at cyclonehockey.recservices.iastate.edu